KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mike Mayock said Sunday afternoon that he has interviewed to fill the Raiders' personnel executive vacancy created after Reggie McKenzie was fired.
The respected NFL Network draft analyst isn’t the only one. Head coach/football czar Jon Gruden, owner Mark Davis and staff have spoken to several candidates about the position.
NFL Network reported the list includes multiple minority candidates, satisfying the Rooney Rule and putting the Raiders in position to make a hire whenever they see fit.
“We’ve interviewed some people,” Gruden said after Sunday’s 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. “Hopefully we can come to a conclusion and get on with life here, because we have a number of picks in this year’s draft, and we have to do a good job researching these players and adding some real weapons to our football team.”
The Raiders have a pivotal offseason ahead. The Silver and Black have tons of salary-cap space to sign free agents, as well as four NFL draft picks in the top 35, including the No. 4 pick and two other first-rounders acquired in trades.
The Raiders have talked to several people about their personnel opening, though it’s inaccurate to say that person would be a general manager, as McKenzie was. The Raiders didn’t use that term in announcing their search. The new hire wouldn’t have autonomy in the NFL draft or free-agent signings. That person would answer to Gruden, who will have final say on all things football.
That’s why it was news with former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese declined an interview request for the Raiders opening. The post holds less power than normal.
It’s possible the Raiders could interview more executive candidates currently under contract with other teams now that the regular season is over. Teams generally allow employees to interview for jobs that would offer a promotion, though it’s less certain for scouts/execs making a lateral move.
Gruden acknowledged that Mayock is in the running. He has never worked in an NFL front office, or as a team scout. The draft analyst has a football playing background, but he has long worked in media. He’s widely considered the best draft analyst in business, and certainly can evaluate players well.
“He loves it. He’s a passionate, passionate personnel man,” Gruden said. “He’s done it for a long time. He has had opportunities to get into the NFL as a general manager. We’ll see what happens when the dust settles.”